Every night, before I go to bed, I take out a tattered, red notebook and write down three things I am grateful for in my life.
Side note: I don’t really like the word ‘grateful’. It’s so over-used right now in the self-help world (and I’m adding to its over-use by using it right now, I suppose). ‘Grateful’ reminds me of one of those Instagram photos you see of some perfect haired, perfectly perfect person, sitting cross-legged on a perfect beach, staring out over a perfect white-sand beach and being all perfect hashtag blessed+grateful.
I do like writing daily gratitudes though. I feel calmer and happier when I do.
Sometimes, I like to switch up the usual ‘write down three things you’re grateful for’ with what I call my ‘Eminem gratitudes” AKA: Being thankful for the hard and shit and real stuff that comes with being a HUMAN.
– Marshall Mathers AKA Eminem
Eminem gratitudes help me to explore the more painful, grittier stuff that has happened in my life, whether it was 10 years ago or this morning.
Eminem gratitudes help me look at the things that scare me from a different perspective (because I don’t think being scared and being grateful can happen at the same time in my brain, so it gives me time to mentally move around for a while, without FEAR poking its nose in and spoiling the fun).
Eminem gratitudes are kind of painful. I actually have to feel the painful stuff (and who wants to do that?) I have to take my blinkers off and explore some hard things I’ve purposely been avoiding. It hurts and it’s uncomfortable, but I’ve found over time, that getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is the key to my emotional freedom, because I’m not running from anything, it’s all there, out in the open.
Here’s a list of some of my Eminem gratitudes that have recently peppered my tattered, red notebook.
I am grateful that my mum died (even though, if I could make a wish, I’d bring her back in a second). My life would not be the way it is now if she hadn’t died.
I am grateful that I got so mad at that guy in the swimming pool this morning, because it taught me again the lesson that the way I react and respond is always a choice.
I am grateful that I had a nervous breakdown. Because I no longer fear what it’s like to hit rock bottom and lose my fucking mind. (And in losing my mind, I found me all over again).
I am grateful that I chose to leave the 7-year relationship—my first big love. Even though it massively hurt her (and me) and a lot of people around us, I set myself free.
I am grateful that I spoke up, when it would have been so much easier to stay quiet. Because it gave me a voice and a backbone and the balls to be ok with not having to be liked by everyone.
I am grateful that I took the risk and leapt….. And landed on my ass. Because in that moment I realised that I can get right back up again (and the only thing that really hurt was my ego.)
I am grateful that I sprained my ankle. Because in the nearly-two years it has taken for me to be able to run again, I learned a lesson in patience and slowing down and loosening my grip on NOT BEING ABLE TO CONTROL EVERYTHING.
I am grateful that I spent my late teens and all of my twenties feeling very, very alone in the world. Because it formed the undercurrent that now flows through the work I do with others: Humans need connection and support and love and to contribute beyond themselves in some way or another, in order to feel fully ALIVE, excited and purposeful.
How about you? What are you ‘Eminem grateful’ for?